Patra's Other Place

I started out with Patra's Place, primarily dedicated to my linen collection and stitching projects. But I kept getting side-tracked, so I decided to create Patra's Other Place for anything not related to embroidery topics. So you now have a choice. If you are interested in me, read this. If you only want to see my linen and stitching, visit Patra's (original) Place! (Please note that by clicking on any of the photos, they will be enlarged to fill your computer screen.)

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Location: Melbourne, Vic., Australia

I am married to Ken. We have no children except two cats and a collection of finches, canaries and a dozen hens.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

New Year update.

I guess I should have deleted that last post.  Such a tantrum!  I had the early stage of a nasty virus when I wrote it, and by Christmas Day I was quite ill.  Ken caught it in due course and by New Years day when I was just starting to come good, he went down like a ton of bricks.  So it was a very quiet Christmas/new year period for us.  Didn't go anywhere, didn't have any visitors!

Not a good start to the year, and it has continued along the same way since.  One of  Ken's oldest friends died after a long battle with cancer.  Two of my friends are on borrowed time now, as their cancers have spread and nothing more can be done.  Getting old sucks.

Ken was booked in to have his defibrillator replaced on the 18th of this month, then the hospital changed it to the 8th of February, which didn't suit us, so it is now scheduled for 15th February.  It is only a half day procedure, but Ken is still nervous about it as the first time he was in shocking pain for days afterwards.

Our chooks are continuing to provide eggs for us and our neighbours.  I'm doing most of the work feeding the birds every day and cleaning out the aviaries and chookhouse when they need it, as Ken is no longer strong enough to do it.  He does spend time up there with me on a nice day though, and he organises the specialised feeding of certain finches and parrots which I am happy to leave to him.  We both love all our bird families and spend many hours sitting up there with a cuppa and something to nibble, and watching the birds antics.

I have started the year on a roll with my sewing, as I am spending most of my time at home caring for Ken now, so I have time to sit and stitch instead of going out nearly every day with friends like I used to!   You can see what I've been up to at my other blog.  I have been infected with the "colouring in" craze, and have bought and been given a dozen books in the past year!  At least I will be putting my precious Derwent pencils to good use now.   Since the life drawing course last year, I haven't done any sketching or painting, and colouring in has been my sole activity in the world of art lately.   It really is very relaxing.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Warning: Private rant, don't read on Xmas Day.

I usually post a happy Christmas gif here at this time of the year, but I have never felt less like celebrating Christmas in my life.  I had to put on a happy face on the Down To Earth forum, after starting a thread titled "no joy in Christmas", which to my surprise, had many responses agreeing with me!  I decided that was not a good thing to let go on the Down To Earth forum, which the moderators endeavour to keep positive and helpful.  So I started another thread title "Let's be positive about Christmas", which cheered everyone up and I got a pat on the back for my attitude reversal.

 Because this is my blog and I can write what I like, I'm telling it how it really is for me.  I am depressed at times, and this time of the year with all the jollity makes it worse.  How can anyone celebrate Christmas or anything else after watching the news and seeing paramedics bashed by drug addicts;  a boy locked in a shed by his 'mother' (serious question mark here) who is a major drug dealer; vandals smashing the windows in all the cars parked on a suburban street; vandals slashing the shark nets on Bondi Beach....and so it goes on.  Car parks and shopping centres filled with crazy people screaming at each other over parking spaces, buying trolleyloads of rubbish made in China because they feel obligated to give everyone they know a gift.

I kept asking Ken what he wanted for Christmas and everything I suggested, he said he didn't want.  I told him I didn't want or need anything either, so let's just forget exchanging stuff at Christmas because it is a tradition.  New tradition starting here, no more must-buy gifts at Christmas.  I have been the one doing most of the gift buying for his family over the years, and I'm sick of it, so this year I just bought some Red Cross donation cards for them, too bad if they don't like it.  They have more than enough money to buy anything they like, so what's the point of giving people stuff they won't use or like?

Ken spends hours on his computer looking for magic quick fix solutions to all his health problems.  I spat the dummy today and shouted at him "there is no magic fix, you just have to live with it like everybody else who has the same health issues", then  stomped outside and slammed the door.  When I came back he was on the phone trying to sell one of his bikes.  Good start because he will never ride it again, and the garage is full to overflowing with so much shit we can hardly park our cars.  I've got books and magazines in boxes down there, and will get rid of them once I can get to them, as they are buried under all his stuff.

End of rant.  Don't know when I will be posting anything here again.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Just briefly...

Our electricity bill has been huge lately, despite having solar panels.  I have had some experts have a look at our bills and we've been told that we are using more power at night than during theday, hence the high bills.  I've got to stop spending hours online at 2 am (like now)! 

That is not what I was going to write about, I only mentioned it because I want to make this post brief so I can turn the computer off and go to bed!   Ken's second lot of CT scans last week showed that the nodule/tumour  on his lung has shrunk and disappeared, so the threat of cancer is no longer there.  That is good news of course, but the lung specialist said it was no use Ken having a valve put in his lungs as was suggested by the lung surgeon.  Dr G. seems to think it would make no difference to Ken's breathing, but Ken isn't happy with that, and is going back to the surgeon for his advice again.  

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Baby birds in our aviaries.

I have just posted photos of our newly fledged Scarlet Chested Parrots, on my birds blog 
for those who are interested.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

It's been a while.

This is why I was going to drop all my blogs a while ago...I just get sidetracked on other things and don't get time to get on here and write about day to day things.  There hasn't much much to to write about, that would interest most people anyway, until last Tuesday.  I gave Ken a gift voucher for his birthday last year.  A "Zoo Experience", behind the scenes with tigers, elephants or orangutans.  He chose the tigers and we finally booked to go on Tuesday.   I took about 60 photos and a few little video clips on my trusty digital camera, and was going to create a blog for them, but haven't got around to doing it. 
Here are a few photos and brief descriptions of an unforgettable day, which Ken says was one of the best birthday gifts he has ever had, and will take the memories to his grave.
While we were waiting for the Zoo guides to take us to the Tiger enclosure, we had a look at the new (to us) aquarium.  Love these seahorses!

We were taken to the tigers' enclosure, given a bucket of raw meat and instructed to put bits of it all over the place to give the tigers a bit of fun finding it.  Once we were back behind the fence, the two males were released from their night time enclosure into this yard.
 They didn't roar at us at any time, just yawned!


 These two girls were our guides.  So friendly and knowledgable.  We spent over half an hour with the tigers.
 There was one other couple with Ken and I, and the man had put a piece of meat up on the tree trunk.  That is his hand holding the Iphone to take a closeup photo.  Look at that paw!
 Ken gazing at at one tiger strolling past him, almost close enough to pat...I wish!
 "Haven't you people had enough of us yet?" he seems to be saying!

 After we left the Tigers, we strolled around and saw a few more beautiful creatures - this peacock had found a shady spot in the elephant enclosure.
 The elephant family.
 Lemurs.
 My zoo souvenir apron!
 And Ken's zoo souvenir mug. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Ode to The Cat

For those who have loved and lost their beautiful cats...I saw this on the Simple Living Forum just now, and copied it to here as I know most of my readers love cats as much as me. 

And God asked the feline spirit
Are you ready to come home?
Oh, yes, quite so, replied the precious soul
And, as a cat, you know I am most able
To decide anything for myself.

Are you coming then? asked God.
Soon, replied the whiskered angel
But I must come slowly
For my human friends are troubled
For you see, they need me, quite certainly.

But don't they understand? asked God
That you'll never leave them?
That your souls are intertwined. For all eternity?
That nothing is created or destroyed?
It just is....forever and ever and ever.

Eventually they will understand,
Replied the glorious cat
For I will whisper into their hearts
That I am always with them
I just am....forever and ever and ever.

Author Unknown

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Health reports.

You know you are getting old when you discuss your health with everyone you know whenever you see anyone you know!  Our friends and family in our age group are all saying the same thing to us:  getting old sucks, and don't ask me how I am because you really don't need to know....

Ken finally got to see the thoracic surgeon who has been discussing Ken with the lung specialist, who told him last month that the surgeon was not prepared to operate on Ken's lungs.  But Ken wasn't content to live with that advice, and asked for an appointment to see the surgeon himself.  We went there on Monday this week, and although the news wasn't really very good, at least Ken knows more about his condition.
Dr. S. studied the x-rays and scans, and explained to us why he was reluctant to operate.  He pointed out the nodule on the lastest scan and said it was a cancer, but it was too early to tell if it was benign or malignant.  He said they will monitor it, and if it grows, he will take the risk of operating on Ken to remove the nodule and at the same time remove the worst part of the diseased lung.  Not one to mince his words, he warned Ken that it could go either way.  If it grows and they didn't operate, Ken will die.  If they operate and it is unsuccessful, he will still die.  Take your pick!  So, we are hoping it won't grow any more, in which case Ken will be better off living with the diseased lung, and having to moderate his lifestyle accordingly.  Dr S. said he thinks Ken is doing very well under the circumstances, and should be able to continue as he is for another couple of years if there is no change to the nodule.

I got to see a rheumatologist yesterday, about my continuing aches, some of which have been blamed on the accident I had 40 years ago, as well as osteoarthritis, osteoporisis, and getting old!  After years of treatments by chiropractors, physiotherapists, osteopaths, acupuncture, and GPs, I wanted to consult someone who specialises in the field of aches and pains with no known cause.  I took along with me all the X rays and scans I've had in the last 20 years, letters from various doctors and specialists, and a list of the areas which are bothering me (neck, back, knees and feet). 

Dr L. glanced briefly at them, and asked me a lot of questions which seemed to me quite irrelevant, then he gave me a physical examination without removing any of my clothes.  Stranger and stranger, I thought.  When I asked him about it, he said that he looks beyond what everyone else sees, and going by my responses, thinks I may have another form of arthritis, as my symptoms aren't the usual signs of osteoarthritis.  I know there are many forms of arthritis, but I've been told so often that I have the osteo version, I've just gone along with it, although come to think of it, one person did say it wasn't osteo - the Chinese medicine doctor who has used acupuncture on me successfully several times.  Dr L. has booked me in for a blood test and a bone scan, so I have to make an appointment to get that done soon, as he wants to see me in 3 weeks' time.

In the meantime, Ken and I are in our fourth week at Shapemaster Studio, doing 45 minutes exercise three times a week.  We are both feeling marginally better for it, so we are going to stick at it for another six months, as some of the other (older) people who have been going there for a few months have told us it has greatly improved their fitness level.

Well, you didn't ask, but you got it - our health report!  Sorry about that, but I needed to document it for personal reasons, and decided this was as good a place as any.



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